“Pitta is the energy of fire and water, digestion, + transformation. When in healthy balance, this dosha brings intelligence, charisma, courage, clarity, and the light of understanding. In excess, it can cause imbalances related to excess heat, such as anger, jealousy, irritated skin, sharp hunger, and difficulty sleeping.” [source: Banyan Botanicals]
Ever notice that you feel these major bursts of energy + joy and wanting to do all the things in the summer, followed by feeling grumpy, agitated, overheated, and in major need of a cooling off? Same.
That’s pitta energy for you. Fiery and exciting. Burnt out and agitated.
It’s the energy of summer. Of transformation. And also my primary constitution, according to Ayurveda.
If you don’t know your Ayurvedic Dosha – find out here).
I know a lot about pitta, having it as my main Dosha. So let’s talk about some tried and true ways to balance this pitta, fiery energy, especially during summer (the season of pitta). And especially if you have a pitta child at home (like I do).
One of the fundamentals to good health according to Ayurveda is routine.
Eating at the same time every day, pooping at similar times, sleeping at similar times – these give our body the chance to know what to expect. It helps take the guesswork out of what we need to function. And our bodies actually tend to thrive.
I used to HATE routine. But I’ve actually found so much freedom in it. I can still be spontaneous. Or adventure. But I can do some thing similarly wherever I am to bring me back home. It’s so grounding.
Summer is a time for FUN! So how do we balance all the adventures with routine?
In my house, we close up all the rooms in the back of the house about half an hour or an hour before bedtime. With Montana summers being full of so much daylight, I find darkening my house off helps tremendously with my little one and myself being ready for bed at a reasonable time (I actually learned this from a sleep coach!).
It’s still possible to try to eat or snack around the same times most days, even if we’re not at home. It helps a lot! I also make sure to buffer in rest periods, at similar times throughout the day or week. Game changer to prioritize those!
To me Ayurveda is a such a beautiful reference for when we’re feeling off balance. So if you’re feeling great – go have fun, ignore the rules a bit. Get wild! But if you’re feeling the need to come back to balance or feel a bit better, then start to anchor into more routine. And watch things transform!
Your Pitta Child
Have a fiery, passionate, energetic, strong, bold tot at home? With perhaps a strong build, lighter eyes and hair, a sharp gaze, and fierce determination?
Welcome to my world! My daughter is all Pitta. Which makes sense, since so am I. On our recent retreat, I shared this and quite a few parents asked me about how I manage/help my pitta child.
I’m still learning.
But here are a few things that I’ve started doing that really help keep the balance in our household:
- Pitta is all about getting out the right amount of energy. We want to expend enough energy that we can rest + sleep easy. But not so much energy that we extinguish our fire + all hell breaks loose.
For my daughter, this means really checking in with her energy levels + schedule throughout the day. If she has a big activity planned, then we’re probably going to need a lot of downtime before + after. Chill time. Especially if the activity is a physically demanding one or in the sun.
(And for me, it means workouts that get my energy out but don’t deplete – think swimming, hikes in the shade, biking and of course moderate yoga asana).
- We have to take cool off times over the summer, when pitta is highest. A lot of times midday during the summer, you’ll find my daughter + I in the shade, in a cool space, taking it easy. Whether that’s by a cool lake under a tree, in a shaded tent, or in a living room with the blinds closed – when summer heat gets HOT, we have to balance that with shade.
- Think cooling. My daughter actually got a fever at summer solstice. I was surprised + yet shouldn’t have been. It was the week before I had surgery + I was wanting to do a lot for me, before being on couch patrol. It was too much for her. All the activity and camps and some heat, and yeah. Too much! I’m not going to let myself feel guilty, because it happens. And it’s ok to prioritize ourselves sometimes. Next year, though, I’m already thinking I’ll plan on doing something very relaxed, low key + cooling the week surrounding the solstice as the season changes.
When she did have her fever, I made sure to give her all the pitta balancing things: coconut water, cucumber, shade, relaxation, fluids, comforting words, etc. It helps more than we realize!
There are times we’re going to overdo it. And that’s okay. There are times are Pitta children are going to get FIERY and feel like little rage machines and we’ll wonder what happened.
That’s okay too.
I think knowing this is my daughter’s go to emotion – it helps me to stay a lot more calm and collected, or at least try to, when it happens (I’m Pitta too so it’s not always easy).
I know her anger needs to bubble over sometimes and release, and that’s also okay. Good to get it out.
I can hold the space for her to boil over, then simmer, then cool all the way off. I don’t have to take it personally and instead just know it’s a part of her magic and maybe next time we can try things a bit differently.
So whether you are Pitta, your child is, or you’re simply reading to keep yourself in balance over the summer – you’ve got this.
Incorporate in some routine. Move your body during the cooler times of day. Find rest + shade. Drink lots of coconut water, eat cucumbers, leafy greens, swim. And most of all – let go of the to do list every once in a while and just have some fun!